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Old 14th April 2014, 13:07   #1
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Default About Facelifts on Trucks

In the recent past, we are finding new trucks being launched in the Indian market that have borrowed a lot of features from cars and are also aesthetically appealing.

To quote a few:
Tata: Ultra and Prima
Ashok Leyland: Boss and Captain
Eicher: Pro series
BharatBenz, Mahindra and AMW's with their 1st generation vehicles.

With so many launches in the recent past, we cannot expect any big launches in the near future, but a slew of product upgrades (aka "Face-lift).

What do you feel are the features / technology that will make these mid term launches appealing?
(lets limit the discussion to practical features, that is short term as well as beneficial)
Your views please...
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Old 14th April 2014, 18:47   #2
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I don't think there would be a facelift, what you would see is changes happening almost every month based on Customer feedback

Manufacturers are very touchy when it comes to commercial vehicles, there is a lot of here-say and superstition that goes on with commercial vehicle Owners and Drivers
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Old 14th April 2014, 23:03   #3
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Default Re: About Facelifts on Trucks

Quote:
"Mid-cycle facelifts for cars are usually just cosmetic: a little nip here, a little tuck there, new lights and maybe a couple of different trim pieces to maintain interest in an aging vehicle for an extra couple of years before a full redesign."
Laurance Yap, Editor, Canadian Driver

Wikipedia Article
I don't see any manufacturer giving facelifts for trucks in India atleast. There's no point at all. Most of the buyers are looking for the cheapest truck to do the job. Fill it and drive it. Nobody is bothered about the looks. There's no image factor. Or even "padoswale Sharmaji kahenge juni gaadi lee" (neighbour talking about you buying an older vehicle).

The Tata 407 got a half-hearted facelift on its 25th anniversary. SCOOP! Tata 407 Facelift spotted

Also, the Omni's Cargo version got a few updates with changing emission norms, only because it has a passenger version too.
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Old 15th April 2014, 09:04   #4
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Default Re: About Facelifts on Trucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by amolbh View Post
I don't see any manufacturer giving facelifts for trucks in India atleast. There's no point at all. Most of the buyers are looking for the cheapest truck to do the job. Fill it and drive it. Nobody is bothered about the looks. There's no image factor. Or even "padoswale Sharmaji kahenge juni gaadi lee" (neighbour talking about you buying an older vehicle).

The Tata 407 got a half-hearted facelift on its 25th anniversary. SCOOP! Tata 407 Facelift spotted
I agree with you that cosmetic changes won't be sufficient to impress our truckers... The maximum it would manage is to get featured in automobile e-forums.

However, in the past we have had a few typical truck type facelifts.
One example is Eicher's upgrade from E2 to E2 Plus range in 2009. It had a lot of changes in hardware as well as the looks. Link
And the latest Pro 1000 where engine gets modifications apart from the looks...

So, what do u think are the elements that you wish to see on our trucks.
I would like to see the following (to begin with)
1. LED tail lamps for superior reliability (most of the trucks have their tail lamps broken)
2. ABS on all CVs (current mandate is only for tractors and vehicles carrying hazardous goods)
3. Hydrophobic surface coated wind screen
4. Telematics with driving habits analysis
5. Theft protection for fuel, tires and vehicle
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Old 15th April 2014, 16:43   #5
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Default Re: About Facelifts on Trucks

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Originally Posted by Sreedharan View Post
1. LED tail lamps for superior reliability (most of the trucks have their tail lamps broken)
By broken I assume physically damaged, what would prevent these LEDs from not getting damaged.

If you refer to fused out bulbs, yes I agree LEDs maybe an improvement.

But won't that hike up the cost? Even if the manufacturers do care about safety and want to make the truck visible to other road users at night, won't they merely put up reflectors at the rear rather than going the LED way?

As for facelifts / improvements maybe the following:

1. Better drive train, more efficient, cleaner, refined and more powerful.

2. Factory fitted online vehicle tracking system that also gives out real time vehicle telemetry(Maybe a bit too far fetched)

3. Better aerodynamics and improved ergonomics like 360 degree visibility aids. ( Not many drivers or operators might bother with this, but it should help improve safety)

4. Traction Control / any other vehicle stability assist system.

5. Auxiliary tamper proof fuel tank. Apart from range the other benefit I see is that the amount of cash given to driver for refuelling either gets reduced or this gets done away with completely. The truck fills up from designated pump, completes the trip and goes to the same pump again. Lesser chances of misappropriation of funds by driver and keeping a check on quality of fuel used in the truck.
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Old 15th April 2014, 19:42   #6
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Default Re: About Facelifts on Trucks

Whatever you guys are mentioning has nothing to do with facelifts. Although these should be mandated alongwith strict checking every few months.
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Old 16th April 2014, 11:14   #7
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Default Re: About Facelifts on Trucks

Well, technologies like ABS, traction control, vehicle tracking etc. are good to have. But can we start with something as basic as a air-conditioned cabin for the driver? Driver comfort is essential and a stressed driver is what leads to most accidents. A comfortable cabin would go a long way in preventing accidents than any other technology IMHO. Yes, a lot of CVs do come with AC these days. But how about making it mandatory?
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Old 19th April 2014, 13:04   #8
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As someone who works as a Service Engineer for a major commercial vehicle manufacture, customer reception to these cosmetic changes varies wildly.

On one hand, the drivers are happy with the looks and thought given to driving comfort. However, vehicle 'Maliks' complain that in the case of minor accidental damage, fiber and plastic fascia items are not available for months and as a result body building is impossible. Current practices of building steel-wood cabins makes it easier to repair dings dents and accident damage.

Also, the area available to sleep in the factory built cabins is often cramped and ventilation is inadequate

I for one welcome these changes, but cv owners are viewing them dubiously.
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Old 21st April 2014, 11:08   #9
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Default Re: About Facelifts on Trucks

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Originally Posted by Nitronium View Post
Current practices of building steel-wood cabins makes it easier to repair dings dents and accident damage.

Also, the area available to sleep in the factory built cabins is often cramped and ventilation is inadequate
Totally agree with you.
During a hot summer at Vijayawada, I had a chance to be inside a truck with a factory built cab (all-steel). It was like a baking oven. No ventilation whatsoever. Then i climbed inside a locally built wooden + steel composite cab. It was absolutely cool and felt like standing under the shade of a tree.

It was quite understandable why drivers prefer locally made cab.
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